Rock & Roll Angel

We’re gonna roll through the next few days examining the redemptive power of rock music, in all of its various forms and permutations. That’s necessarily going to focus on the big players for the most part, but we’ll hear some less well-known artists. Like Wild Belle, who aren’t really a rock band – but you don’t have to be in a rock band to be a rock star. Wild Belle are so not-well-known their second album doesn’t have its own Wikipedia page, which implies that there’s literally nothing to say about it except to acknowledge that it exists. I can say that it’s a good record and you should buy it. Wild Belle are different from most of the other sibling duos in that they really like roots reggae; their sound is half island, half Laurel Canyon. It’s still, on some level, lifestyle music, which, it seems, is what most light indie pop is geared to be. As in, you can hear these songs being unobtrusively pleasant as you shop, and they evoke hashtag-ready imagery of girls with long blonde hair and fringe suede boots. There’s nothing wrong with pleasant music evoking pleasant images, and I certainly am not shading Natalie Bergman for her fair hair. The way those things have been monetized via social media is also not inherently wrong, despite the misgivings of people raised on traditional media. In fact, young stars like Bergman have means to control and market their image in a way that a comparably appealing young star in the 60’s never dreamed of. That’s progress, of a sort, though we haven’t made heads or tails of it yet. The nature of stardom is different today. Maybe stars can’t be larger than life anymore, but in exchange, they can be constantly in your life, like a friend who never stops forwarding you Groupon offers.

(Concert Photo by K. Nordstrom // Instagram: @kellenyousoftly)